I never planned on writing this piece. I told myself that I was much too thin skinned to become a Ron Paul apologist, and so I would quietly root for him in the comfort of my own home – but avoid any appearance of support on the internet. This was my plan, but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men… What I hope to undertake over a series of two or three articles is an apology of Ron Paul and the reason that Republicans (and all other Americans) should support his pursuit of the Presidency. I understand that I will receive a lot of negative attention for what I post here, and I can only hope that my opinion offers a clear and rational case for those of us who support Ron Paul. My fellow Ron Paul fans are often derided as “paulnuts”, “liberals”, “potheads”, and the most offensive (so offensive, I can hardly believe conservatives would use it) “paultards”. It’s true that some supporters are eccentric, but it is also true that our beliefs are grounded in reason and history.
The Core Economic Argument
I am going to begin from the easy side of the argument, because most Republicans I know are happy to admit that Dr. Paul is right on most economic issues. Why should Republicans support Ron Paul? Ron Paul is the most conservative candidate in the field when it comes to economic principles. He believes that spending should be drastically curtailed, that the federal income tax should be eliminated, and that taxes in general should be dramatically reduced (Ron Paul’s plan calls for the elimination of the IRS). If elected he plans to cut government spending by $1,000,000,000,000 (that’s One Trillion Dollars, folks) in the first year of his Presidency. Can you name any other candidate whose preference it would be to completely cut all of your income taxes and allow you to keep your money to use as you see fit? No way. Can you name any other candidate who would fight, tooth and nail, to cut spending in Washington, DC even as the lobbyists, unions, and special interests gnashed their teeth and spouted their anti-capitalist rhetoric? No way. Every other candidate would cave, and has caved, to the special interest groups in DC. Ron Paul has been arguing for these kinds of broad, sweeping changes to our tax and spend culture since the 1970s! If he gets the chance he will veto tax increases, he will veto spending increases, and he will sign tax cuts, and spending cuts.
The other aspect of this core economic argument is Federal regulations and their devastating impact on our economy. While no one is arguing for a return to the “Gilded Age” of American business when producers could mislead consumers, mistreat employees, and mishandle their product – Ron Paul argues for “common sense” regulation. Instead of sending police to shut down a young girls sidewalk lemonade stand, the government should spend its finite resources dealing with more pressing matters. No more nanny state politics, where the federal government attempts to tell consumers that they cannot eat trans-fats, or smoke flavored tobacco, or buy a smoothie or green tea from a little girl. Ron Paul would make it easier to start your own business by eliminating so many of the wasteful and costly regulations that hamper small business every day. These economy killing regulations include government interference in the healthcare industry, where according to Norm Coleman, a Romney advisor, “We’re not going to do repeal”. President Ron Paul would work hard to ensure the repeal of Obamacare, because he believes that whenever government interferes in the free market – prices rise and service declines.
You have no doubt heard the raucous chanting at many a Ron Paul event; it usually goes something like this “End the FED! End the FED!” For many Ron Paul neophytes one of the first questions I get asked is, what do they mean by end the Fed? In our view of how the economy works the Federal Reserve, which was begun in 1913, because of its machinations and interference is the primary cause of monetary inflation which necessarily leads to price inflation. This causes several negative outcomes, the main one being that it causes recessions and depressions – in our view the free market is a better tool to limit these negative outcomes. I would highly recommend Ron Paul’s eminently readable book “End the Fed” for a much more in depth understanding of the negative effects of the Federal Reserve and the positive outcomes of its elimination. On a similarly obscure note, Paul is sometimes derided as a “gold bug” for wanting a return to the gold standard. This is not actually the case; Dr. Paul argues that the market should be allowed to decide what our monetary standard will be.
Lastly, in a study undertaken by University of Georgia political scientist Keith Poole, Ron Paul was the most conservative member of Congress from 1937 – 2002 when it came to government involvement in the economy. Generally, it is not difficult to argue that Ron Paul is the most economically conservative nominee for President – * especially against the current batch of candidates – but what becomes more difficult is explaining his views on foreign policy and domestic personal liberty. I would argue, and will argue, that his views on these subjects are wholly consistent with both conservatism and traditional Constitutional values.
For more on Ron Paul’s economic plans for the USA check out his campaign website.
* A short side note on the other three Republican candidates to help you measure their conservative credentials.
The other three Republican candidates are moderate-liberal on spending and taxation:
Santorum – I’ll let Anne Coulter explain just a few of the reasons,
Santorum is too liberal on economics:
The Catholic missionary was fantastic on issues like partial-birth abortion, but more like a Catholic bishop in his support for No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug entitlement program (now costing taxpayers more than $60 billion a year), and a highway bill with a Christmas tree of earmarks, including the famous “bridge to nowhere.”…Santorum cites his father’s admonition to put any extra money in the poor box at church to explain his wanting to use the federal government to help the poor.
By the way Santorum may yell at Romney and Gingrich about the healthcare mandate now, but he used to support it too.
Romney – The eternal flip-flopper authored the healthcare plan that the President based his plan on, and he supported the mandate to purchase healthcare insurance. He raised taxes as Governor of Massachusetts, though he will tell you he cut taxes. He supported the stimulus plans put forth by President Bush and President Obama. He supported the auto industry bailout.
Gingrich – Like Romney, Gingrich supported the individual mandate in the Obama healthcare plan. He (like Romney), supported TARP. He supported the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Air Act, both expensive environmental regulation plans. He called Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare “right-wing social engineering”.